Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pole Beans

Pole beans are one of my favourite, easy to grow vegetables. Despite a few problems this year the pole beans are producing nicely. They refuse to use only their eight foot trellises prefering instead to reach further into the sky where they dance in the breeze. I'm growing two varieties this year: Kentucky Wonder and Romano.

Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans

When using the square foot gardening method, any vegetable that vines is a real plus. They can be grown on trellises, staked up or even grown on fences to save valuable space. This is one reason pole beans are ideal in small space gardening. My all round favourite pole bean is Kentucky Wonder.

Kentucky Wonder is a reliable producer. They take 65 to 70 days to reach maturity. I am growning both green and yellow but the yellow just isn't doing as well as the green. The green vines have taken over the trellis with their vigorous growth. The problems with Japanese beetles and bean beetles seem to have subsided substantially. This photo is about a week old. The beans have now covered to the tops of the wood hiding the poles almost entirely. I do need that ladder to pick the beans!

Kentucky Wonder Pods

Kentucky Wonder pods have a wonderful flavour. Each pod is eight to nine inches long with a rich green colour and nicely shaped. I'm picking a quart or more daily while they are still tender. If last year is any indication of yield, I canned thirty-two pints of beans as well as froze ten quarts aside of what we ate fresh. I also froze a few pints in boilable pouches, already seasoned ready to use. We enjoy these beans freshly steamed, canned, frozen or as dilly beans. They are an excellent bean in soups or stews.

Romano Pole Beans

Romano is a new variety I'm growing this year. It is a gourmet bean with a distinctive flavour. The pods are wide, flat and six to eight inches long. Their shape makes the pods ideal for slicing. They are an excellent freezer variety. While the vines are nice and healthy exceeding over eight feet the bean yield has been less than the Kentucky Wonders. Like their counterpart, the Romano vines are now almost entirely covering the trellis quickly filled in where the sugar snap peas were.

Beside the Romano pole beans is one of three volunteer sunflowers courtesy of the birds. One was in front of the beans and has already been harvested. There is a smaller sunflower not noticeable in the picture as it is only about a foot tall and in full bloom. Volunteers are always a fun find so I like to leave them when possible.

Happy Gardening

Garden Gnome


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